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Beyond Wolves

The Politics of Wolf Recovery and Management

2003
Author:

Martin A. Nie

Beyond Wolves

Looks at the next stages of the controversy over wolf recovery

Analyzing the wolf recovery program from a policy-making perspective, Martin A. Nie examines not only the future of wolf recovery but also the issues that will define debates around the politics of wildlife management. Beyond Wolves is a revelatory look at the way the democratic process works when the subject is an environmental hot-button issue.

Beyond Wolves is a timely and comprehensive accounting of wolf politics and management.

Timothy W. Clark, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and president of the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative

Since 1995, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released Canadian gray wolves into Yellowstone National Park as part of its wolf recovery program, reintroduction has been widely challenged in public forums and sensationalized in the media. This conflict has pitted western ranchers and property rights activists against environmental groups, highlighting starkly contrasting political perspectives. In this informed account, Martin A. Nie examines not only the future of wolf recovery but also the issues that will define debates around the politics of wildlife management, animal rights issues, and other flash points. The result is a revelatory look at the way the democratic process works when the subject is an environmental hot-button issue.

Examining the wolf recovery program from a policy-making perspective, Nie looks at programs in Alaska, the Lake Superior region, the Northern Rockies, the Southwest, and New England and upstate New York. He analyzes the social, political, and cultural backdrop in the areas in which wolves have been reintroduced and explores such contentious issues as the role of science in public policy; the struggle between wilderness protection, resource management, and private property; and the use of stakeholders in environmental conflicts.

For Nie, the debate over wolf recovery is above all a value-based political conflict that should take place in a more inclusive, participatory, and representative democratic arena. Wolves, Nie writes, are an important indicator species both biologically and politically, and in Beyond Wolves, he tells an important story of wolves and people, place and politics, that resonates far beyond the fate of America’s most misunderstood inhabitants.

Awards

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Beyond Wolves

Martin A. Nie is assistant professor of natural resource policy in the School of Forestry at the University of Montana.

Beyond Wolves

An excellent case study, a sort of microcosm of the political issues confronting natural resource management and of how natural resource policy and management work in this country. For anyone involved or interested in wolf management and wolf-human interactions. Essential.

Choice

Nie views the wolf in America as far more than just a beleaguered animal; it is a Rorschach test for how we feel about wilderness and all things wild. The emphasis here is on wolf recovery as value-based political conflict: the wolf is an important indicator species both biologically and politically, and recovery success will depend on the extent to which the program is inclusive, participatory, and democratic.

Library Journal

This book’s value extends well beyond the context of wolf recovery. Beyond Wolves can be read as a general introduction to sociopolitical dimensions shared at some level by every conservation policy controversy, and indeed by every environmental controversy.

Conservation Biology

Beyond Wolves is a timely and comprehensive accounting of wolf politics and management.

Timothy W. Clark, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and president of the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative

An informative and thought provoking book.

Wildlife Activist

Martin Nie examines and analyzes wolf recovery and wolf management in a neat, well-documented package that anyone interested in wolf-human interactions will want to read.

L. David Mech

Highly readable and will be a real eye opener for many ecologists. The book should be required reading for any ecologist, and should help us all broaden our understanding of how we relate to our fellow humans.

Wildlife Biology

Beyond Wolves

Contents

Preface

Introduction

ONE Wolf Recovery and Management as Value-Based Political Conflict
TWO The Wolf as Symbol, Surrogate, and Policy Problem
THREE Wolves and the Politics of Place
FOUR The Use of Stakeholders and Public Participation in Wolf Policymaking and Management

Conclusion

Notes

Index